Last week saw the launch of School of Grazia’s latest event – How To Dress For Work Fashion Masterclass, the third in our series of straight-talking business networking events for women who want to get ahead. Taking place at the super-smart Paramount in London’s West End, the event saw more than 100 young women from all over the country gather to hear from three of the UK business world’s leading authorities on workwear – Kim Winser OBE, Tatiana Ohnyeva and Polly McMaster talk etiquette, accessories and packing for business trips.
And these ladies certainly know their stuff. Kim Winser OBE is one of the UK’s most internationally renowned and inspirational businesswomen and head of fashion brand Winser London – one of the places to head to for an amazing power dress. Tatiana Ohnyeva, Head of Client relations at Harrods knows fashion like the back of her hand – and which designers to invest in for failproof office dressing. And last but not least there’s Polly McMaster, founder of fashion label The Fold, whose business specialises in office-appropriate but not boring workwear for modern professional women. Prior to starting The Fold, Polly worked in the city. In July 2013, Management Today voted Polly one of ‘35 Women Under 35’.
The evening started in the best possible way – with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot wine courtesy of Echo Falls and indulgent canapés, before our panel - accompanied by Grazia’s Fashion Editor Hannah Almassi - took to the stage to divulge their greatest tips, tricks and advice. Hosted by our very own Editor-At-Large Angela Buttolph, Grazia readers took the chance to grill Kim, Tatiana, Hannah and Polly on everything from the tricky business of what tights to wear to the secret to a brilliant power dress (it’s about investing in high-quality, no-crease fabric apparently).
And the tips we learnt from the night?
1. Look for a power dress with subtle detailing around problem areas. I.e. if your stomach makes your self concscious then The Fold’s carefully draped shifts will do wonders. Also of note – longer hemlines can balance out sleeveless dresses, while shorter hemlines always look smarter with a sleeve.
Arlington Dress, £189, The Fold
2. Think about capsule wardrobe packing and stick to three or four colours max. Kim Winser is a pro at the tough task of packing for a trip, never taking more than her hand luggage on any trip. A particularly versatile set is Winser’s modern cashmere twinset.
3. Don’t forget the leathergoods. Nothing can smarten up the same dress or suit quite like a really sharp handbag and perfectly polished shoes. Midi heels are in, so make the most of them. And discover innovative tech-meets-it-bag labels – like Milli Millu or Mulberry - for your latest arm candy investment.
Classic Willow Tote, £1,600, Mulberry at Harrods